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Old Mar 18, 2012, 11:10 PM   #1
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Default Week 2 of 52

I'm using Sunday as the last day of a week, so this was my first full week. I made it through, though it was a close thing one day.

Monday found me walking around Westwood before work. I've always liked the neon light of this window - old-fashioned neon lights. I took two pictures, this one taken with the FA31 from a normal angle, and another that I posted under the bi-weekly challenge ( http://forums.steves-digicams.com/bi...eet-level.html ) taken with the 10-17 fisheye, taken from an unusual angle and the one I posted to the project. But I thought this came out nicely for a realistic, classic view:



At lunch that day I took a picture that's actually my favorite for that day, but it's another flower. It happens to be one of my best flowers, but I'm trying to expand my subjects.



Tuesday found me looking for shapes. In the morning I found these:





Wednesday was a "lesson learned" day - definitely an oops day. I had noticed on Tuesday that my battery was getting low, but decided to wait a day, I have spare batteries. Before work I tried my hand at some product photography type of thing. The pictures were really grim and I figured that wasn't a big deal, I'd take something cool at lunch. When I went to change the battery at lunchtime I realized that the spares were in my OTHER camera bag at home. Lesson learned - always move the spares when you change bags! Here's the picture I posted for the project: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/s10/v16/p288502224-4.jpg and another one that I took, I'd be interested which one everyone else think is less grim.



Thursday I had too many choices, a great photo-taking day. Here's the picture I posted:



I took it using a gorillapod for support and a shutter speed of 20 seconds, trying to smooth the water of the fountain (which was running). I really liked how it came out.

As I was walking back to the office, I spotted this accident:



I'll never make a photo-journalist - I'm too reluctant to get close enough to the action. If you are an innocent victim of a traffic accident, there are worse places to have it than right in front of a police station, down the block from a fire station and across the street from a hospital emergency room!

Lunch found me at the botanical gardens, and I was thinking about the bi-weekly challenge again (shooting upwards), so I did. I would have posted this to the bi-weekly challenge, but someone else posted a very similar picture the same day I took this one. Still like it though.



Continued below...
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 11:14 PM   #2
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Friday found me wandering around Westwood again, this time using slow shutter speeds to capture traffic light streaks. I wasn't very successful, but thought this one was all right.



As I was walking back to the office, I spotted a small snail on a tiger lily leaf (do you call them leaves or stalks?). It was still quite dark and I didn't have my external flash with me. I was debating the possibility of getting something without camera shake when three friends came by. One said to forget it unless I had a flash, at which point I asked if any of them had a flashlight. Since they are all building inspectors, I figured there was a good chance one of them would have a small LED light with them. Suddenly it was a team effort - one inspector holding the LED light above the snail, another keeping an eye on it as it wandered over the leaf and me taking several shots to try to get the exposure right. I loved the result (taken with the DA 35 macro)! Lesson learned - add a small LED flashlight to my camera bag.



Lunch found me outside and I spotted this couple. Looks like you don't need 4 walls and a desk anymore to set up your office:



Saturday was an interesting day as far as the weather. It rained, sleeted, snowed, rained, snowed, rained and so on. For the project I posted one of my "there's white stuff all over my sensor" pictures (always fun, but not brilliant): http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v41/p380681460-5.jpg for the link to it. I also took this shot, showing where the snow line was:



Which I think is a more pleasing picture. When the sun came out and briefly melted the sleet/snow, I got a very nice picture of a drop. It may not be my best, but it's close to it.



Another water drop picture is here: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/s8/v9/p103051589-5.jpg .

Sunday found me taking winter pictures:





This scrub jay came out in one of the brief breaks in weather. Since it was sleeting when I left on my walk, I only took the DA*50-135 on the K5 - wouldn't have a chance to change lenses. I thought this came out pretty well for such a short telephoto, it's cropped fairly heavily.



As you can imagine, I took a whole bunch of pictures today and had a hard time cutting down to a few to post here and one to post to the project. I loved having an excuse to go walking in the snow, we haven't had much this year and I didn't bother going out in previous storms. The picture I ended up picking to post to the project was one frame of this panorama:



So that's been my week in photos. I'm still having a great time with it, trying some new things (or things I don't do much). I'm finding that my technique is improving again, back to where it was before, when I was taking pictures almost every day. Another lesson learned - photography takes practice.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 7:34 PM   #3
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I prefer the fortune teller picture taken with the 10-17 fisheye. It incorporates more of the scene, catches the dark (foreboding (?) sky.... the additional elements add an air of mystique to the fortune teller picture. IMO, the 31mm W/A although good, doesn't add this mystique, which again IMO makes this picture.

I also like the lighting and simplicity on the cement cylinders....nicely done.

The underside of the flower that shows a honeybee approaching is a picture I've tried to get for a few years...without success. This pix has a lot of appeal.

The fortune teller pix reminds me I have to get downtown and take some interestingly lit downtown nightlife businesses.

Also like the building with the waterfall...at night...again that wide angle perspective gathers a lot of interesting factors together and the lighting is great.

Another picture that has a lot of appeal is the slug or snail (?) on the leaf. Simple, different, lighting great...and it has a certain elegance.

Les

Last edited by lesmore49; Mar 19, 2012 at 7:37 PM.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 8:40 AM   #4
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Send in the accident shot to your local paper. I bet they would love to have it. The 52 idea is a interesting thought and is producing some very nice shots. I may try it.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 10:02 AM   #5
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Les, I agree with you on the psychic window - if I wanted a picture correctly showing the window, the 31 shot does that. But it's very static and pretty boring. So the fisheye, taken with a gorillapod's two legs wrapped around a parking meter and the third on the ground, supporting it, is dynamic and seems to tell a story more. The sky isn't threatening as much as it was taken about the blue hour.

Speaking of the gorillapod - I bought it to be a light-weight tabletop tripod. I have another one, but it's heavier and I don't use it much. What I found was that it works well if it's wrapped around something but it's lousy as a regular tabletop - the joints will collapse it down with anything other than a limited lens mounted on the K5. So I haven't used it at all in a long time (but then, I haven't been taking all that many pictures in months). It now "lives" at the office and I've been using it quite a bit as with this project I'm really working hard at exploring new things. It's gone from a dust-collector and something I thought I wasted my money on, to something useful.

The cement cylinders are used as outdoor seating area, there's a whole array of them. I took a number of pictures from various viewpoints and with various lenses and this was the one I liked the best, both because of the color and the way I lined up the shapes. I may try to re-shoot this some other morning as the bottom of the two front cylinders is blown-out a bit, I found that distracting. Just not sure I'll ever be able to match the blue color/lighting conditions again. I didn't want to do this as an HDR so I didn't bracket (another lesson learned - HDR is NOT the only reason for using exposure bracketing!).

I had another lesson learned the day I went to the botanical gardens. For many of the pictures there (not this one) I really wanted some extra lighting. The botanical garden has layers - tall trees as well as flowers and shrubs under them. I really wanted a reflector and it, like the spare batteries, were in my other (larger) camera bag at home. If you are going to buy something, it helps to have it with you! The underside of the flower turned out to be easier than it should have been. The flower is something like a giant sunflower that grows in Mexico and South America. It's actually more tree-height and I was standing on a path when I took it - not lying on the ground. The viewpoint was planned once I saw it in bloom, the bee was an unexpected extra.

Lovely Royce Hall - always so much fun to photograph. I love the shot in spite of two faults I find with it, one bothers me and the other doesn't so much. The light was getting brighter by the time I took this picture (it wasn't the first one, I experimented with different shutter speeds) and I was having to use smaller and smaller apertures to get the long shutter speeds. I used f16 with the DA 12-24 and ended up with bigger starbursts with the lights around it than I had wanted. This is the one that bothers me the most. The other fault I find with the shot is the leaning lines, normal when shooting a wide-angle up toward a building. I briefly thought about trying to straighten the lines, but won't bother - I'd lose some off of the sides and I like how I framed this one. If I get bored sometime or if someone falls in love with this picture and wants to use it for something I may go back to it and try.

I love the snail! Makes me want to buy a couple of plamps (want them anyway) and another small LED flashlight. And a better back to carry all of this neat equipment around with.

Paul - I just checked the on-line version of the local paper, expecting to see pictures (as you can tell, I wasn't the only bystander around and one person in my picture looks like he was checking his cell phone camera picture). But nothing was listed. I still would like to know how the accident happened, I really couldn't imagine what someone did to get the cars to end up how they were.

This taking and posting a picture every day has been good for me in all sorts of ways. For instance, I came home last night after having a doctor poke holes in my back, and instead of saying "forget it", I took a couple of pictures. What I thought would be an easy subject turned out not to be and I didn't feel well enough to pursue it, so I took a quick snap outside that was easy. Not the greatest shot in the world, but that's OK, and I learned that my first idea was harder than I thought it would be. I find anything outdoors easy, it's the indoors stuff that's harder than I expect it to be.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 10:29 AM   #6
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Nice accident picture. The wider angle shot tells a lot of the story vs getting realy close. You have both cars, damage, firemen and police all in one picture plus the street crossing light sign...... However if you wanted a better shot I would have moved to the right from where you were standing and gotten more of a shot or angle of the front of the left most car. However with my background in news photography and fire-rescue work you made a nice picture that tells a story and the kind of a shot I would have grabbed myself.

dave
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 4:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
Les, I agree with you on the psychic window - if I wanted a picture correctly showing the window, the 31 shot does that. But it's very static and pretty boring. So the fisheye, taken with a gorillapod's two legs wrapped around a parking meter and the third on the ground, supporting it, is dynamic and seems to tell a story more. The sky isn't threatening as much as it was taken about the blue hour.

Speaking of the gorillapod - I bought it to be a light-weight tabletop tripod. I have another one, but it's heavier and I don't use it much. What I found was that it works well if it's wrapped around something but it's lousy as a regular tabletop - the joints will collapse it down with anything other than a limited lens mounted on the K5. So I haven't used it at all in a long time (but then, I haven't been taking all that many pictures in months). It now "lives" at the office and I've been using it quite a bit as with this project I'm really working hard at exploring new things. It's gone from a dust-collector and something I thought I wasted my money on, to something useful.
I bought a DSLR Gorillapod about 18 months ago and don't think I've used it yet. Both my K10D and K-5 have battery grips and I don't have the confidence that my GP would support relatively large, heavy cameras. I may try it on the smaller Km or my G 12. I never thought of wrapping it around parking meter support poles...but I think I'll give it a try. I've also thought of wrapping the 'pod's legs on saplings/branches for macro shots in forested areas...but have yet to do that. I need to start using this device, think it could be of value.
The cement cylinders are used as outdoor seating area, there's a whole array of them. I took a number of pictures from various viewpoints and with various lenses and this was the one I liked the best, both because of the color and the way I lined up the shapes. I may try to re-shoot this some other morning as the bottom of the two front cylinders is blown-out a bit, I found that distracting. Just not sure I'll ever be able to match the blue color/lighting conditions again. I didn't want to do this as an HDR so I didn't bracket (another lesson learned - HDR is NOT the only reason for using exposure bracketing!).I liked the colour/ shape/position of these cylindrical concrete forms...the blue adds a nice aura. Your experimentation I would say, is motivating you to push the envelope on the various features of the K-5. I don't do enough of this and need to use the K-5 more fully.

I had another lesson learned the day I went to the botanical gardens. For many of the pictures there (not this one) I really wanted some extra lighting. The botanical garden has layers - tall trees as well as flowers and shrubs under them. I really wanted a reflector and it, like the spare batteries, were in my other (larger) camera bag at home. If you are going to buy something, it helps to have it with you! The underside of the flower turned out to be easier than it should have been. The flower is something like a giant sunflower that grows in Mexico and South America. It's actually more tree-height and I was standing on a path when I took it - not lying on the ground. The viewpoint was planned once I saw it in bloom, the bee was an unexpected extra.I have a little folding reflector that will fit into a large pocket. I've found it handy especially to reflect sunlight on different subjects. What I'd like to do is find some 'clamp' that would slide onto the shoe of my Gorillapod...so that I could attach the GP to the reflector and say a tree...pole, etc. Right now I don't use the GP as much as i would like as I find I need 3 hands to handle the camera/reflector.

Lovely Royce Hall - always so much fun to photograph. I love the shot in spite of two faults I find with it, one bothers me and the other doesn't so much. The light was getting brighter by the time I took this picture (it wasn't the first one, I experimented with different shutter speeds) and I was having to use smaller and smaller apertures to get the long shutter speeds. I used f16 with the DA 12-24 and ended up with bigger starbursts with the lights around it than I had wanted. This is the one that bothers me the most. The other fault I find with the shot is the leaning lines, normal when shooting a wide-angle up toward a building. I briefly thought about trying to straighten the lines, but won't bother - I'd lose some off of the sides and I like how I framed this one. If I get bored sometime or if someone falls in love with this picture and wants to use it for something I may go back to it and try.A nice looking building well photographed. I think the fact that the water fountain adds to the picture.

I love the snail! Makes me want to buy a couple of plamps (want them anyway) and another small LED flashlight. And a better back to carry all of this neat equipment around with.
I wish I had a 'caddy' to carry all my camera equipment. I usually restrict myself (due to weight) to 2 bodies + lenses, or 1 body/lens + the G12.

I'm thinking of a vest...Domke , etc.

Again great pictures and I would say your project is off to a great start.

Les
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 6:46 PM   #8
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I love Tuesday's coloured shapes, the first one is gorgeous.

Rodney
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 7:33 PM   #9
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What an ambitious project! You are off to a marvelous start with some fine images and very diverse subject matter.

I love the concrete blocks. The colors in the early morning light are wonderful. Perhaps the blown highlights can be cloned out?

Good luck on your quest.

Lou
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 10:05 PM   #10
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Les - Scott once posted about the plamp - a device that has a couple of clamps and a somewhat flexible "arm". You put one of the clamps on a tripod and one holds whatever you want held (flash, reflector, flower subject so it doesn't move etc.). I'd really like to get a couple. Your reflector sounds like mine, it collapses into a small soft case and is really useful. It's only because I've been carrying my smallest camera bag, thinking that would keep the weight down, that I didn't have it. I realized Friday that the smaller bag really doesn't save me much weight - I can carry the same number of lenses in it as I can in the Classified bag - I just can't carry the DA*300. Since I don't usually carry it to work (it's not a walk-about lens), carrying the smaller bag just means I don't have accessories I want. I'll go back to the Classified tomorrow.

As far as the gorillapod goes, I'm using a ballhead that belongs to my Manfrotto tabletop tripod. I really need to replace that one with a sturdier one - Dan bought it for me when I bought the FZ30 and it's really not heavy enough to deal with the K5 and Viv 105 very well. It topples over unless I line one of the legs up with the lens, then if I'm careful it will work.

Thanks, Rodney - that's the picture I posted to the project. But I liked the more delicate second one also.

Lou - I didn't even think about cloning over the blown highlights. It shouldn't be too difficult, just not sure I'll bother doing it as it doesn't bother me THAT much - kind-of like how I feel about the perspective lines on Royce.

I'm really having a great time, the project is giving me a chance to explore all kinds of things. One weekend that I'm home I want to try water drops - I've never done that. And there's a number of other things I'd like to experiment with. Making a commitment to take one picture a day means that I'm much more likely to actually do it, rather than say "maybe some day".
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